India...Beautiful Inside and Out !!..
"Dear Arvind and Sangeeta, Thank you for sharing your passion and love for those things that are important. You two are doing your life's work. I will go back and tell my friends about how beautiful, Inside and Out your country is. Much Love and Infinite Blessings,
..Christine Keeth (USA), 12th March, 2008.
Introducing an Indian Travelogue, through the fragnant Floral Kaleidoscope of our Country, was to my mind the best way of enfolding the larger than life canvass of the famous Taj Mahal with its vibrant energy, panaromic diversity, legends and soul touching Culture & 'Spirituality'.
"To enjoy this beautiful country..see it with your heart & make it a memorable journey of the Body,Mind and Soul."
- Sangeeta Gurung
Indian Himalayas, Where the Mountain is Young !!!
Thirty million years ago, a huge piece of land that had broken away from the southern continent of Gondwanaland, and had moved north, came crashing into Laurasia the earth's only other continent at that time. With the force of the impact, the land rose in giant waves and folds to create the World's grandest mountain system - The Himalayas!!
Dharamsala Tours and Travels for the first time introduces you to new destinations in the frontiers of this Trans-Himalayan region. Centuries old wisdom in snow peaks touching the clouds, spring freshness in gurgling streams, green meadows and the lingering fragrance of pine and conifers in the air. Tribal folklore with the warmth of Hill Culture interspersed over ages with Forts and Legends, Himachali Kings, ageless Buddhist monasteries all combine to make an exotic tour.This tour in India can be an exciting journey for all those looking for a personal growth of the self.
The Splash of Rhododendrons, kiss the Sunset Peaks of the Indian Himalayas!
The vibrant Floral Culture of the 'Himalayas', caress many a memorable dawn n' dusk of the Mountains. Following the pine scent, will be a 'rejuvenating experience' of unique hill traditions and the picturesque milieu, of the snow covered mountain peaks.
The Indian Himalayas cut a border between India and China, passing through several Indian states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Sikkim, striking awe like no other mountains ranges in the world.
Threaded with rivers and dotted with lakes, the lovely state of Himachal Pradesh, Home to the Second Buddha Saint Padmasambhava and The Sacred Valley of Shiva's consort Parvati, offers the most unique spiritual experience to any traveller.
Explore the labyrinth alleyways through Jammu and Kashmir, ascend into the worlds highest mountain passes and stand in awe before some of the finest Buddhist artifacts in Leh and Ladakh.
Travel into Uttaranchal, a lower Himalayan state figuring prominently in old Hindu epics as the mythological abode of the Hindu pantheon of Gods. Dwell deeper into the homes of Lord Shiva and Vishnu and the source of the holy rivers Ganges and Yamuna.
Sikkim and the North East are probably the least explored and most unspoiled parts of this country, far off from the tourist beat. The first inhabitants of Sikkim gave their mountain home a name meaning "The Land of Happiness"!!
Indian Plains, Where the Plains are Green and Alive !!!
The Indo-Gangetic Plains are vibrant with the rich history of various civilizations that its fertile soil has harboured. Rich forests and vegetation alongwith lush and green harvest fields portray the bosom of this incredible country. It is characterised by the Gangetic Valleys, sprawling alluvial flat plains, rocky terrains, and rich forest land.
Move further south to the Indian plateau's to beach lands and magnificent temples everwashed by the blue waters of the Bay of the Bengal in the East and to the land of religious harmonies, projecting the synthesis of Dravidians, Aryans and Muslims further to the west.
A Lover's Heart, must wear the Blush of Spring at all Times !
The passionate fervour of the Young in our country, dynamic and resurgent with the fertile Mother Earth, finds expression amidst the scenic backdrop of blooming mustard flower fields and jasmine in the fertile Plains.
Lush green fields and the pastoral beauty of rural villages has borne many legendary stories of passion, love and achievement. In Agra, at the Taj Mahal, enjoy the eternal devotion of a Mughal Emperor for his Beloved, while in the courts of the Nawabs in Lucknow the soft seductive nuances of Courtesan (Umrao Jaan) will enthrall you. Move further to the Heart of our country and feel the divine throbbing sensuality of 'Kamasutra' in Khajuraho, celebrating Love in all its wild abandon !!!
Heal yourself with the tranquil spirituality of BodhGaya and with the sacred immortality of The Golden Temple in Amritsar. Transport yourself through the corridors of time in the ancient ruins of Hampi and lose yourself in the grandeur of Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. Witness the awe-striking magnificence of the Sun Temple in Konark along the beaches of the Bay of Bengal.
Indian Deserts, Where the sands Breathe.. Fire!!!
From the heat of the Desert land rises the fearlessness of the Rajput warrior clans of Rajasthan. The Suryavanshi's,(Descendants of the Sun), Chandravanshi's, (Descendants of the Moon) and the Agnikuls,( Purified by the Holy Fire), signifies the spirit of the desert land , coloured by lilting folk tunes of the 'Banjaras'(Gypsies).
The Thar is the largest desert land and extends from Rajasthan to the borders of Gujarat.
The Color of Life along the Sands of Time!
Amidst pulsating Sunsets, Forts and Palaces and the lustful Sounds of the Desert land, many a story can be told..to win the Heart.
Burning Desert land, vermillion Sunsets, Forts, legends alongwith the earthy rhythmic beats of the roaming 'nomads', will mark your journey to Rajasthan. In the Pink City of Jaipur and the City of Lakes and Palaces Udaipur, discover the fabled tales of the Rajput Maharaja's and royalties. At Ranthambore and the Bird Sanctuary of Bharatpur, listen to the call of the wild. Gandhi's Gujarat is a fascinating holiday destination splashed with colorful sky-touching kites, majestic lions in the Gir Forests and dance to the 'Garba' folk music!
Indian Waters, Where the Ganges Heals with Tranquil Energy!!!
The flowing mysticism of the Ganges has intrigued many a foreign traveller and has remained a sacred belief among all Hindus. The 'Beatles' travelled all the way from England to this holy country to study the 'transcendental meditation'. The unique Monsoons has inspired many classical melodies of 'Raag Malhar' and till today is a lifesource for the Indian farmers. The country is surrounded by three major water bodies..Rejuvenate yourself in and around the green beaches and coastlines.
The Energy of the Lotus Mind in the Healing Waters of the Indian Rivers!
From 'Raag Malhar' to the simmering Monsoon rains, rivers and deep seas..A Journey to this sacred country, will give you a brush with tranquil serenity along with deeper Human emotions.
From the Ghats of Vrindavan, the birth place of Lord Krishna; the waters dance to the mischievous antics of 'Radhe-Krishna' and the Gopis (Milkmaids). The sacred chastising waters of the Ganges at Varanasi will cleanse your soul. Enlighten your mind at Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon after Enlightenment.
Rejuvenate your mind on the sandy beaches of Goa where the waters are reminescent of St.Francis, the patron Saint of Goa. Celebrate Mother nature with coconut and palm trees plantation while cruising the serene backwaters of Kerala.
Start your Christmas Season with a Buddha Gift from India !
Ganesh Utsav..5th September 2016!
The Mahatma....Gandhi Trail !
The 'Navratras' is celebrated in many forms all over the country. While Gujarat resonates with the sound and rhythems of 'Garba' Folk Dance, Hyderabad and other parts 'Kolu'..the traditional 'Doll-Houses' are set up in the homes to attract Mother Goddess 'Durga' in the manifestation of a Girl Child - 'Kanya'!!
Holiday Script !
The enchanting stories of Indian legends go a long way in creating your holiday moods here....!
Festival of India.Basant Panchmi!
The many faces of Indian Bloom!
India, Himalayan Flora n Fauna
09th May, 2011..
Dusk and me, we each can share our story, of how we saw the first glimmer of Hope, on a rising sun , together ! The first morning light, revitalizing our senses and the evening 'Song of the Indian Koel'..singing its ode to the birth of bloom on my young Indra Kamal bud. Slowly, the rays of the Dawn, caressing it to 'awaken'..cajoling it, to unfold its petals and perfume the Universe, with its intoxicating 'aphrodisia'!
10th May, 2011..
The poetry of unfolding magic in my spring garden at Vidya Niwas, Dharamsala. The full bloom of this aromatic flower..a wonderful 'high', which comes only with 'success' of bloom!..Like the many journeys we take in life, the jasmine buds in our Heart can only see the sunrise, when we fulfill our promise to life,..allow our 'dreams' to nurture and flourish to 'full bloom' !!
Colors India, Lucknow..
Nothing can take the cheer away from the first rush of spring flowers, heralding the 'Shoton Spring Festival' and 'Holi', where we forget all, to just enjoy the warmth of human relationships..spilling forth in various colors of the rainbow !
Lucknow, where I was brought up, Holi is just not about 'colors', it is about preserving year end white clothes, made vibrant with the first splashes of 'gulal' and water colors..tantalising and teasing human interactions.
Hot 'ghujias' bursting their seams with 'khoya',..'Dhai Vadas' and ofcourse sour 'Rai Paani' to smoothen the effect of 'Bhaang'! Music is a must..everybody had a song in their heart..semi-drunken poetic confessions of courting hearts,..much was forgiven in good humour!
Evenings sprayed with 'Ittar' (Indian Perfume) and the Indian zephair fragnant with the essence of jasmine buds..my mother always told me, it was important to let your emotions go astray, to taste the fruit of passion,..to allow those jasmine buds to bloom in your heart, to truely make your life timeless !!
" The Scent of a Rose..Ajmer Sharif, Rajasthan..
India,..can be touching in its soul moments! Spirituality can caress us with unseen fingers and leave its memory, in the poignant corner of your heart.
My childhood was full of travel all over India. Rajasthan was fascinating as a chlid to me. I recollect one of my visits to Ajmer Sharif (Durgah Sahib), which was a constant favourite with us for many reasons. We loved the amulet charms we could buy..fragnance of the scattered red rose petals, but most of all, the eye catching and beautifully embroidered 'Chadars', which were offered at the holy shrine.
We each wanted our 'chadar' to be the best, but on an occasion when it did not happen so, we were agrieved..The holy priest seeing my disappointed face took me aside. He told me, the Lord would bestow me with as many blessings as the others since, He would only see that I had woven my heart, in that offering to my best ability. Many years later, even today those words of the priest will always stay in my mind..
When we have taken all the choices we have, to the best of our ability, we should to leave it to the Almighty to make His choice. He will always show us the Path of our Karma in Life !!
" Water Flavors..Postcard India "
..Even as the waterbird shooting sprees ended in a lot of pandemonium in the house, there was still something to take back from our young days of boating in Narora in Aligarh(UP), where my father was posted.
For a long time I thought, they were small green space ships from a Flash Gordon comic..come down to Earth for some India news ! As stoic as the peace of Buddha India, were the flavors on our tonque which still linger in our memories.
Eurasian Water Chestnuts (Singara), green sheets of vegetation growing in water pools, along with the pure and enlightened Lotus at a distance..were an excellent accompaniment to roast duck ! Grilled on an old Kadai with a generous sprinkle of old Sherry wine and white pepper, it was a picture postcard of India which I still share with my kids at home.